Creating a Great CX: Differentiation by Experience

April 10, 2019
Creating a Great CX: Differentiation by Experience

Customer experience (CX) is critical to businesses of all sizes. It always has been. Companies that don’t realize it…well, many are no longer with us. In fact, since 2000, 52 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist as a result of digital disruption.

And, according to industry assessments, brands with highly rated CX improve revenue at twice the rate of those that offer a poor customer experience. Failure to create a great customer experience will certainly be a key factor in who is left standing when the next battalion of digital disruptors marches in.

Read our ebook, “Breaking Through: Creating a Customer Experience That Really Works,” to find out why integration is the foundation for great CX.

CX: Important But Not Easy

CX is all about creating a comprehensive, 360-degree view of the customer and providing a seamless response to all their needs, across any channel of engagement along the entire customer journey value chain.

But delivering great CX is no small task. There are many ways a company’s CX can falter, leaving customers stranded, unsatisfied and looking for somewhere else to go.

Organizations must connect a complex mix of data, applications, systems and people — internal and customer-facing — through a broad assortment of workflows and business processes. The secret sauce? Integration. But before we talk about integration, we need to talk about the reasons why it's needed.

A Shift in the Balance of Power: Sellers Beware

The reasons behind the increased importance of customer experience and companies’ zealous pursuit of ways to improve it run deep. Over the last couple of decades, we’ve become a digital society. And one of that society’s most powerful drivers — for good and ill — is social media.

Social media — the 24x7x365 focus group — has made it hard for brands to create product differentiation. Comparison shopping, product reviews, online forums, non-stop conversations via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other channels mean, quite literally, there’s no place to hide.

Even seemingly trivial events can create a substantial social media backlash. For example, in the fall of 2014 the bakery-restaurant chain Panera started to substitute a soft dinner roll for a baguette as the standard side item with its meals.

To many people, that might not seem like a huge deal. Still, a high-volume, negative Tweet storm ensued. One sample tweet: “Panera asking me if I want a baguette or a dinner roll is like asking me if I want to stay or leave.”

Rising Above the Din: Differentiation by Experience

The marketplace is noisy and distracting. Social media simply makes it more so. But as companies zealously pursue ways to make their customer experiences more comprehensive, frictionless, and, ultimately, pleasant, they’ve found that wise use of social media can help them create product and brand differentiation by experience.

And that experience extends way beyond guiding a prospect through the sales funnel to the purchase transaction. Experience must shape the entire customer journey.

Companies that understand this put substantial effort into building communities around their products. Take Subaru, for example. Subaru used social media — specifically Instagram and YouTube — and the idea of communities to support its #MeetAnOwner campaign.

In our ebook, “Breaking Through: Creating a Customer Experience That Really Works,” we explore the growing importance of CX and why it's so difficult to get right. We explain how a modern, cloud-native integration platform like Boomi provides the foundation for rapidly building out a best-in-class experience for your customers.

In my next post, I'll dig deeper into the customer journey and why it should be an enjoyable stroll and not a forced march.

Read our ebook, “Breaking Through: Creating a Customer Experience That Really Works,” to find out why integration is the foundation for great CX.

About the Author

Myles Suer is Boomi's global enterprise marketing manager.